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Ungovernable Kreuzberg

Starts at:

"The Red Globe" (a big red ball on a pole) on the River Spree, May-Ayim-Ufer 9 near Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn, Kreuzberg


1 hour 20 minutes

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Amidst the ruins left by World War II, surrounded by River Spree and Berlin Wall, this isolated corner of Kreuzberg was for many young Germans an experimental living room, a testing ground for a different kind of life. Here was hedonism and hard-edged left-wing politics, freedom, protest, escape. Then, in 1989, the wall fell and everything changed - a forgotten district suddenly open.

Following train tracks and migration paths, through squatted streets and parties in the park, longtime Kreuzberg resident and radio producer Lorenz Rollhäuser walks you through the neighbourhood’s past and present, sharing the sights and sounds of Berlin’s proudly ungovernable district. And though the voices of ‘70s revolt sound a little quieter now, it remains a place of life and noise where space is claimed defiantly for the public good.

Kreuzberg will always remain on the city’s rebellious side, despised by some, loved by others. Find out why on a walk which takes in the famous Oberbaumbrücke, the infamous Görlitzer Park, and a legendary May Day celebration that certainly ended with fireworks.

Tips & Hours

  • Begin this Detour between noon and sunset any day. Avoid noon-2:00pm on Fridays (when the mosque you’ll visit gets busy for Friday prayer) and Saturdays after 4pm and Sundays (when the bookstore is closed).

  • Görlitzer Park is a well-known site for the illegal buying and selling of drugs. It is a perfectly safe place to explore, though we suggest that you avoid going alone at night.

  • A toilet is available at the beginning of this walk at Rio Grande restaurant, situated on the level below the “red globe”